Reuschel benefited as much as anyone from Sabermetrics. I don’t think many thought of him as a hall of fame pitcher while he was pitching. Nothing about his non-sabermetric stats shouts Hall of Famer. He did have a great 1977 by the old stats, but no one thought it was as great as WAR says it is was. He is easily pitcher of the year with WAR. Reuschel finished third for the Cy Young Award that year. He doesn’t hardly have any black ink and is not that great on gray ink.
One problem in his 9 years of prime he pitched in Wrigley Field for the Cubs. Two things distort Reuschel’s stats there. The Cubs were a bad team distorting Reuschel’s won-loss record. Also, Wrigley field was a hitters park. However, while Reuschel had some great years, his overall ERA plus is 114, which means it is 14 percent better than the average pitcher. He ends up 249th on the list here.
The thing that I think helps Reuschel in WAR is he had some lousy defenses behind him in his career. So he gains points in WAR for that. I don’t know the details, but I don’t buy this to the full extent. However, I try to account for that in my formula by not just counting Baseball Reference WAR. Other parts of the formula take away from this. I have Reuschel as my 47th starting pitcher and I have 55 in my Hall of Fame. So, I see Reuschel as a hall of famer.
Another thing that hurts Reuschel in the Hall of Fame is his post season pitching. Sometimes a pitcher on the border will get a boost from his post season pitching. However, Reuschel didn’t pitch that well in the post season. He had 7 starts and one relief performance and had an ERA of 5.85. He had only two game scores of over 50 in the seven starts. One start was excellent as Reuschel only gave up an unearned run in 8 innings. He had a game score of 68. The victory in this game put the 1989 San Francisco Giants in the World Series. This is just a fluke as he had some good starts during the pennant races.